Jennifer Gorham is a familiar face at the Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA) in Las Cruces, New Mexico. With 16 years of service, she has worked with a lot of employees, supervisors, and even the Board of Directors. Working in Administrative Service means that Jennifer wears many ‘hats’ across MVRDA, including finance, human resources, onboarding, training, safety coordination, and risk management.
MVRDA was created in 1989 through a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Las Cruces and Doña Ana County, becoming the first consolidated dispatch center in the State of New Mexico, now serving as the primary PSAP for Doña Ana County, the City of Las Cruces, the City of Sunland Park, the City of Anthony, the Town of Mesilla, and the Village of Hatch. Jennifer is responsible for the onboarding of new employees and implemented the training platform for 54 full-time employees, including 11 administrative staff who have different training and credential requirements.
As a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) that dispatches for law enforcement, fire services, and emergency medical services agencies, Jennifer manages many different training needs for special skill sets and expertise required for the various positions at MVRDA. To help assign, track and report on all the various training and certifications, Jennifer worked with Vector Solutions to implement their Learning Management System (LMS) in early 2020.
With so many different training requirements to track, the LMS has helped simplify training to keep everyone on track. In addition to tracking specific training from FEMA and other Telecommunicator-specific training, Vector offers LMS users a full online course library to help staff meet their common training needs, such as courses on ethics, sexual harassment, safety, and more. Jennifer can assign courses, add practice exams, and set the required passing score for employees to complete a training requirement.
Jennifer has set up an onboarding training program that extends a full year and includes multiple phases and courses, including training activities on the use of NCIC, CAD, 9-1-1 call taking equipment, APCO courses, customer service, safety requirement courses, and more.
MVRDA has also created several different activities and credentials to simplify the delivery and tracking of continuing training courses, policy dissemination, license expiration monitoring, equipment assignments, and even annual performance review documentation.
MVRDA has made great use of the LMS to save time, improve training, and ensure everything is communicated properly and documented. For example:
Jennifer shared that the City of Las Cruces Human Resource department introduced them to the Vector LMS solution, which they use across several city departments, including the Fire Department. “The Vector Support Team has been amazing,” said Jennifer. “And now that employees can get their information they need directly from the LMS, I’m not getting as many phone calls. It’s helped us improve our process in many areas, including better documentation and risk management.”